A Cinema for the Ears: Imagining the Audio-Cinematic through Podcasting

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Podcasts have been described as “a cinema for the ears” and this application of a visual rhetoric to describe an audio-only experience results in an attempt to define what is still a relatively new medium. I argue that it is possible to consider something cinematic without the presence of moving images. Assertions in favour of the cinematic nature of podcasts often employ the visual imagination of listeners evoked by heightened audio characteristics that a particular podcast may possess. By focusing on film-centred podcasts specifically, which, in terms of content and form, are implicitly and often explicitly concerned with properties of the cinematic, I argue for a more conceptual analysis of the idea of a visual form of audio. While many film-oriented podcasts provide a supplementary celebration of cinema culture rather than manifesting a unique cinematic experience of their own, there are examples of film-centred podcasts that attempt to actualise what I will call an “audio-cinematic” experience, deploying the creative potential of the podcast to manifest an experiential aura that evokes a cinematic imagination. I analyse the sonic dimensions of audio-cinematic podcasts including my work with Neil Fox on The Cinematologists Podcast
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-365
Number of pages25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

© Dario Llinares. This article is published as Open Access under the terms
of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Licence
(http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits
non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction provided the original work is
cited. For commercial re-use, please refer to our website at: www.euppublishing.


  • Podcasting
  • Cinema
  • Sound Studies
  • Digital Culture
  • Sound Design
  • Phenomenology
  • Audio-cinematic
  • Imagination
  • Podcasts
  • Speech
  • Sound

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